Talking ‘Bout A Revolution

I’m fast coming to the conclusion that i’m part of a generation in which the majority of people, on hearing the word ‘future’ have the first reaction of, “don’t let it come during my working life, because I’m not ready for it.” Now, my generation, a little portlier than in the past, grayer at the temples and longer in the tooth can maybe be forgiven for this reluctance to face the full implications of the future. However, what scares me far more is the proportion of much younger people sharing that same viewpoint, and maybe worse the numbers of educators who hope they can finish out their working lives in the teaching profession before real change has to happen.

I can’t be that way. Those young people prepared best for a rapidly changing world, those who can adapt and deliver the kinds of creativity that others will value will be the winners. Others may find that they are increasingly marginalised as the world is willing to pay less and less for what they can do (or worse, will conclude that new technology does the same but far more reliably, with a lot less fuss and at ridiculously low costs)

Here’s an article and a short video from a conference that took place in Denver, USA a few months ago, under the banner of the International Society for Technology in Education. The keynote address was delivered by Michio Kaku, a renowned theoretical physicist and futurist.

Edtech Magazine – Michio Kaku Says Education Needs a Revolution

He clarifies some of his thoughts through this short video interview:

Edtech Magazine – Michio Kaku On The Value Of Technology In Education

His message is very clear – the changes in the world, the changes that are being brought about by technology, globalisation and the pressing need to address issues of inequality are coming and fast and require significant change in education now. Failure to address these needs will see the education systems of the world further and further removed from relevance in young people’s lives – we will be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

One of his biggest points is clearly that with access to facts and knowledge becoming more and more ubiquitous, the need is to emphasise learning time on the skills to learn, collaboration and creativity skills through mastering principles and concepts.

His ideas require far more from us than merely sage nodding. We have to be ready to challenge and question those aspects of what we do that fail to meet these needs.


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